The latest pre-poll surveys have predicted huge gains for Narendra Modi in the state he didn't have access to until recently, but Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar sees no Modi wave in the country, or for that matter in Bihar.
Rejecting the possibility of a big NDA win in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the Janata Dal (United) leader has now begun work to stitch up a third front of sorts, starting with former members of the erstwhile Janata Dal, Deve Gowda and his Janata Dal (S) and Mulayam Singh Yadav and his Samajwadi Party. Others to be wooed include the chief ministers of Orissa and Tamil Nadu, Naveen Patnaik and Jayalalithaa.
Negotiations with the others are underway, he has hinted. And these could include some Left parties, an indication that attempts have been revived to cobble together a third front to form a government in the eventuality that the NDA does not manage to post the numbers it would like to.
“It can take the shape of a big party or a front. It’s not exactly a merger of parties, but we can federate these parties," Nitish told The Economic Times in an interview.
Over the next week, these parties' leaders would sit together and chalk out the details of such a front, he said.
The focus of the third front is clear, to deny the BJP an outright win by sharing resources for the regional parties that are expected to do well in regions where the BJP does not have a clear presence.
In Andhra Pradesh, for example, the YSR Congress is expected to post a tremendous performance, winning between 11 and 19 seats to Lok Sabha, up from his present strength of two MPs.
Speaking to Economic Times, Nitish has said even if the BJP wins every seat where it has a presence, it does not add up to 272. Tapping the regional princes such as Jagan, Mulayam and Naveen Patnaik could provide the electoral dividends, he said. "So, overall BJP exists only in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Gujarat," he is quoted as saying.
Asked if he contests the view that the BJP would get at least 180 to 190 LS seats, Nitish responded, "No question of BJP winning these many seats. Are you saying BJP will win in Tamil Nadu or Bengal?"
Kumar has also said there there is no question of returning to the BJP even if the latter requests him to in the eventuality that the NDA falls short of the required tally.
Your guide to the latest cricket World Cup stories, analysis, reports, opinions, live updates and scores on https://www.firstpost.com/firstcricket/series/icc-cricket-world-cup-2019.html. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates throughout the ongoing event in England and Wales.
Updated Date: Jan 31, 2014 15:30:09 IST